Managers, are you aware of how social media affects your teams?
It’s an everyday part of our lives but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the effects it can have particularly when it becomes an unhealthy habit.
Building Emotional Fitness
You may have heard me use the phrase, “emotional fitness for positive mental health”. I believe that like physical fitness, we need to work on our emotions for positive mental health. If we want to get physically fit, we exercise and eat healthily. If we want to get emotionally fit, we should be exercising our resilience muscle, moving our thoughts from the primitive brain, the amygdala, to the positive brain, the pre-frontal cortex.
You may want to use my book, Emotional Fitness A-Z for Positive Mental Health. It is an activity book that offers actionable solutions to help you take control of your emotional fitness and mental health.
Feelings and Emotions
One thing I feel extremely strongly about with regard to emotional fitness is how social media can affect our feelings and emotions. I remember going to many talks at my children’s primary school about how social media was affecting the mood of children, impacting their emotions.
During one of the talks, the Head Teacher asked the parents if they could only do one thing for their children, it would be to limit their screen time for two hours before bedtime to help them sleep better and thus be more productive at school the next day. Wow! This is a hard call, especially when you have teenagers glued to their phones and social media.
Setting Boundaries for Workplace Screentime
Let’s talk about the workplace. Screentime and social media have the same influence on our performance at work. If we are glued to our phones, it is going to affect us. If it negatively affects our sleep, it will have a knock-on effect on our workplace performance.
What happens to our thoughts when we cannot stop looking at social media?
Multiple studies have found a strong link between heavy use of social media and an increased risk of:
- negativity about yourself
- suicidal thoughts
With all this in mind, how can managers help themselves and their teams by setting boundaries to use social media in a positive way for positive mental health?
Managers can communicate with their teams to set their own boundaries to promote positive mental health when using social media.
Here are 5 tips for managers to set boundaries and promote positive mental health on social media:
1. Leave your phone in the kitchen, away from you from 6pm at night.
This is one boundary I set with my whole family. Not using their screen near sleep time, and not having it near the bedroom when they are sleeping helps them have a better quality of sleep. The Sleep Foundation’s research found that the more time spent on social media and screens, the more trouble you have falling asleep and the lower quality sleep you get during the night.
2. Find other distractions.
Managers can advise their team to find other things to do. Whatever happened to the good old-fashioned activities before we had social media? Examples of activities I love are reading, knitting, crocheting, table tennis, badminton and many more. I also love listening to the radio. That is why I run a radio show once a month on emotional fitness. Help your team come up with more ideas for things they can do instead of reaching for their phones to scroll on social media.
3. Be kind to yourself and others.
There is nothing wrong with blocking people who are negative and who do not make you feel good. Only post happy, kind posts. Do not post, and do not read posts that are negative and written to hurt people. Don’t forget that whatever types of posts we read, social media algorithms send us more of the same. If you’re investing your time in angry, spiteful content, you’re likely to find more of it suggested on your feeds.
4. Limit your social media time.
The average amount of time users spend on Social Media is nearly 2 hours 30 minutes a day. Setting a boundary to give yourself time limits to use social media. You may limit your time to thirty minutes per day maximum.
5. Use online platforms and resources to help promote good mental health and wellbeing.
There are so many positive resources on social media. Set boundaries with yourself that you will only follow, watch, and read platforms to help your mental health and wellbeing. Also, aim to avoid doom scrolling. Instead, change your focus to positive scrolling!
“If you live your life on an emotional rollercoaster, you may end up not living your life.” This is a quote from my book, Emotional Fitness A-Z for Positive Mental Health.
Life is too short. Do not waste your time with being stressed and pressured due to your activity on social media. You are the only person who can protect yourself.
See if your team members are willing to reduce their social media consumption as part of a challenge and measure the impact on their sleep and mood afterwards. Can they commit to turning their phones off two hours before bedtime and what positive effects can they see as a result? Doing this as part of a group challenge can be motivating!
If you want to find out more about how you can help strategise and promote emotional fitness and positive mental health for your team, book a Strategy Call with me https://calendly.com/novaassociates/strategy-call.